More international aid is on the way to Haiti, but officials are complaining of problems coordinating its distribution.
The U.S. military is operating Haiti's damaged main airport in the
capital, Port-au-Prince, where many of the supplies are arriving. But
lack of space has made it difficult to cope with all the planes sent by
foreign donors and governments, and some have been forced to turn back.
Aid groups are working around the clock to get relief supplies that
have arrived to survivors in and around the capital, but their efforts
have also been slowed by blocked roads and limited resources.
A United Nations spokeswoman (Elizabeth Byrs) says the earthquake in Haiti is one of the worst disasters the world body has ever had to face.
Four days after the quake reduced much of Port-au-Prince to rubble,
thousands of people are living in the streets with untreated injuries
and without sufficient food or clean water
Aid workers report patience is wearing thin, and say they are worried
about security problems if supplies are not delivered quickly.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled Saturday to
Port-au-Prince. Secretary Clinton landed at the airport in a U.S. Coast
Guard transport plane loaded with water, food supplies and toiletries
for staff at the U.S. Embassy.
She will meet with Haitian President Ren� Preval and members of the
U.S. government team and other aid workers to determine how best to
help the recovery effort. At a stop in Puerto Rico, Clinton said it
will help if the Haitian parliament issues an emergency decree. She
says such a move would give Haitian authorities more authority to
impose curfews and other measures to meet people's needs.
Clinton said she will limit her visit to the confines of the airport so
as not to disrupt relief efforts. She is traveling with Dr. Rajiv Shah,
the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The situation in the capital remains grim. Thousands of criminals are
free after the earthquake destroyed the city's prison. Witnesses report
men with machetes have been roaming the streets at night, helping
themselves to whatever they can find in wrecked homes.
Countless bodies remain unclaimed in the streets, with survivors doing all they can to escape the smell.
Haitian officials have said some 40,000 people have been buried so far
in mass graves, and predict the final death toll could reach as high as
The area is also susceptible to aftershocks, with a strong one Saturday felt across Port-au-Prince.
The top U.S. military officer, Admiral Michael Mullen, says up to
10,000 U.S. troops will either be in Haiti or offshore by Monday to
help distribute aid.
A U.S. aircraft carrier (USS Carl Vinson) with 19 helicopters arrived off Haiti's coast Friday to serve as a floating airport. A U.S. navy hospital ship (the USNS Comfort) is also on its way.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to be in Haiti Sunday.
Mr. Ban has appealed for $550 million to meet the earthquake victims'
most urgent needs. He also said the window of opportunity to save those
beneath the rubble is closing, but that search and rescue operations
are continuing in what he called "an expedited way."